Sailing the Turkish Mediterranean coast

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August 26th 2010
Published: September 24th 2010
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So, we are sailing again - although we haven't been very diligent bloggers. When we launched in July we had all the normal jobs plus some new canvas to fit which had been made for us over the winter. Made to measure cockpit cushions and a sail stack-pack - all unfortunately in the wrong colour! The machinist had them all re-made in our burgundy and yellow livery in 4 days and we could finally move on.

Marmaris - Dalyan - Gocek

We had a week sailing around the Marmaris area before Sue and Paul arrived for a visit. They were in a hotel in Marmaris (well, 2 hotels but that's another story) and we picked them up for a cruise down the coast. First, we had a couple of days sailing, anchoring in bays, taking swims and checking out the little coastal restaurants. We reached Dalyan and took a local boat trip through the tall reeds of the river delta to the town - this is where African Queen was filmed, cheaper than going to Africa I guess. In our anchorage here, Kate went ashore and ordered a frappe - an iced coffee. The old bar owner didn't get it even after a few explanations so delivered her a mug, a jar of instant coffee, sugar, a bottle of water, milk and a bucket of ice. The result was unsurprisingly not a great frappe and surprisingly expensive.

From here we took travelled on to the Gocek/Fethiye bay. We were happy not to have the strong winds of last year, but the light winds meant that we only sailed part of the way and had to motor the rest. Gocek and all the little islands and bays around are wonderful. We all enjoyed a slow pace exploring, swimming (even at night) and carrying out all the little tasks like rowing ashore for fresh bread. We got online with a wi-fi signal and accidentally discovered Sue and Paul's tour operator (Goldcrest) had gone bust, but by then they were so relaxed they didn't even worry. After a week onboard we said goodbye to Sue and Paul who took the bus back to Marmaris to finish their holiday in their hotel (and yes, they did get a flight home).

Gocek - Fethiye - Kalkan - Kas - Kekova

We continued along the south coast of Turkey with the wind behind us, alternating between tranquil bays and rolling seas. In all our anchorages, Kate has been keeping up her summer fitness regime, fitting in a 20 minute swim every day. The little fishing village of Kalkan was where we took one of our first holidays together 20 years ago, but neither of us could remember it well. Kas is a relatively big town and we managed to replenish stocks of essentials - water and wine. The island of Kekova protects a lovely piece of coastline with Lycian tombes, a Byzantine castle and an unruly gaggle of restaurants. It was a great place to hang out and to explore. Some of the restaurants incorporate ancient walls and arches, and the steps up to the castle weave between (and what feels like through) houses displaying exotic local fabrics, hand-made carpets and imported tat.

Kekova - Kastelorizon (GR) - Gocek - Marmaris

Kastellorizon was a lovely surprise. A tiny Greek island sitting 3 miles off the Turkish coast and 70 miles from anything else Greek (Rhodes). The island settlements were all but destroyed and deserted during 20th century wars, but are now being beautifully renovated with style and colour. A lovely place to spend a couple of days - and have a great Greek salad!

On the way back to Gocek we suffered an engine problem with the revs rising and falling in a worrying rhythm. We limped into the bay and went to the boatyard for advice. We asked the first guy we met if he knew how to help, he made a phone call and 5 minutes later an engineer arrived in his Volvo logo'd van giving us bags of confidence. The next morning 2 engineers were onboard dismantling things, and after disappearing with some bits for an hour, came back and fitted a new fuel pump. They even fixed our oil leak in passing. Just to prove their total efficiency, when I went ashore with the engineers to pay, there was a guy sitting on his scooter holding a portable credit card machine waiting for us - cool.

Between Gocek and Marmaris our auto-pilot stopped working so it was all hand steering for a few days. We arrived in Marmaris with a mission, well quite a few missions actually, and it took a week to resolve everything because each of our problems needed just one or 2 more days than expected. We left with a new fuel tank for the outboard (took 4 days instead of 2), the auto-pilot fixed (took 3 days instead of 1), an intricate knowledge of the Turkish notary system and the European Apostille agreement (took an arm and a leg), a cancelled credit card (took a phone call), a bikini (took miles and miles of shopping streets), a flight home (easy) and a boatload of food and drink (heavy). So with our east of Marmaris adventure complete, our engineering and admin jobs done, and our stores full to bursting, it was time to head north.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Sue and Kate swimming in Wall Bay not far from GocekSue and Kate swimming in Wall Bay not far from Gocek
Sue and Kate swimming in Wall Bay not far from Gocek

The line in the picture secures our stern to the shore, it also doubles as a volleyball net.

24th September 2010

Kate and Andy......Great photos and you both look so well. Lovely to see Sue and Paul enjoying themselves. Enjoy the rest of the summer. Love....Wendy and Tom

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